American People Famous Conductors from the United States

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List of notable or famous conductors from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top conductors born in the United States and even some popular conductors who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American conductors then this list is the perfect resource for you. These conductors are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known conductor from the United States is included when available.

People here include everything from Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra.

This historic conductors from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American conductors of note?" and "Who are the most famous conductors from the United States?" These prominent conductors of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American conductors.

Use this list of renowned American conductors to discover some new conductors that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (506 items)

1
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Frank Sinatra Died at 83 (1915-1998) Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer, actor, director, and producer. Beginning his musical career in the swing era as a boy singer with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, ...more

2
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Frank Zappa Died at 53 (1940-1993) Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed ...more

3
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Jackie Gleason Died at 71 (1916-1987) John Herbert “Jackie” Gleason was an American comedian, actor, and musician. He was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style, exemplified by his character Ralph Kramden in The ...more

4
Quincy Jones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Quincy Jones age 85 Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. is an American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company ...more

5
Harry Connick, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Harry Connick, Jr. age 50 Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. is an American singer, musician and actor. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the ...more

6
Leonard Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Leonard Bernstein Died at 72 (1918-1990) Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive ...more

7
Igor Stravinsky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Igor Stravinsky Died at 89 (1882-1971) Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor. He is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky's ...more

8
Aaron Copland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Aaron Copland Died at 90 (1900-1990) Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later in his career a conductor of his own and other American music. Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style ...more

9
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Sergei Rachmaninoff Died at 70 (1873-1943) Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered as one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last ...more

10
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
John Williams age 86 John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning over six decades, Williams has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in ...more

11
Richard Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Richard Rodgers Died at 77 (1902-1979) Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his ...more

12
David Ogden Stiers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
David Ogden Stiers age 75 David Ogden Stiers is a voice actor.

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Henry Mancini is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Henry Mancini Died at 70 (1924-1994) Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini was an American composer, conductor and arranger, who is best remembered for his film and television scores. Often cited as one of the greatest composers ...more

14
Lennie Moore is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Lennie Moore age 56 Lennie Moore is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator of music for video games, film, TV, and Multi-media.

15
Arnold Schoenberg is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Arnold Schoenberg Died at 77 (1874-1951) Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg was an Austrian composer and painter, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. With the ...more

16
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Itzhak Perlman age 72 Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and pedagogue.

17
Marvin Hamlisch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Marvin Hamlisch Died at 68 (1944-2012) Marvin Frederick Hamlisch was an American composer and conductor. He is one of only twelve people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He is one of ten people to win three or more Oscars in ...more

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John Philip Sousa is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
John Philip Sousa Died at 78 (1854-1932) John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is ...more

19
André Previn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
André Previn age 89 André George Previn, KBE is a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world and is the winner of four Academy Awards ...more

20
Elmer Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Elmer Bernstein Died at 82 (1922-2004) Elmer Bernstein was an American composer and conductor best known for his many film scores. In a career which spanned fifty years, he composed music for hundreds of film and television ...more

21
Max Steiner is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Max Steiner Died at 83 (1888-1971) Maximilian Raoul "Max" Steiner was an Austrian-born American composer of music for theatre and films. He was a child prodigy who conducted his first operetta when he was twelve and ...more

22
Mark Morris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Mark Morris age 61 Mark William Morris is an American dancer, choreographer and director whose work is acclaimed for its craftsmanship, ingenuity, humor, and at times eclectic musical accompaniments. Morris is ...more

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Michael Tilson Thomas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Michael Tilson Thomas age 73 Michael Tilson Thomas is an American conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra.

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Dimitris Mitropoulos is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dimitris Mitropoulos Died at 64 (1896-1960) Dimitri Mitropoulos, was a Greek conductor, pianist, and composer. He received international fame both as a major conductor and composer of the 20th century.

25
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
James Horner age 64 James Roy Horner is an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for ...more

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Billy Goldenberg is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Billy Goldenberg age 82 William Leon "Billy" Goldenberg is an American composer most known for his work on television and film. Among his most noteworthy were his collaborations with Steven Spielberg on his ...more

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Jerry Gray is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Jerry Gray Died at 61 (1915-1976) Jerry Gray was an American violinist, arranger, composer, and leader of swing dance orchestras bearing his name. He is widely known for his work with popular music during the Swing era. His name ...more

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Ted Sperling is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Ted Sperling Ted Sperling is a Musical Director, conductor, orchestrator, arranger, stage director and musician, primarily for the stage and concerts. He won the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations and the ...more

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Leon Carr is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Leon Carr Died at 66 (1910-1976) Leon Carr was a prolific American songwriter, composer, arranger, pianist and conductor, best known for his marketing jingles used in advertisements for Mounds candy and Chevrolet, and the ...more

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Bill Conti is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Bill Conti age 75 William "Bill" Conti is an American composer and conductor best known for his film scores, including Rocky, For Your Eyes Only, Dynasty and The Right Stuff, the latter of which earned ...more

31
Michael Kamen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Michael Kamen Died at 55 (1948-2003) Michael Arnold Kamen was an American composer, orchestral arranger, orchestral conductor, song writer, and session musician.

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Victor Herbert is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Victor Herbert Died at 65 (1859-1924) Victor August Herbert was an Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for ...more

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Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Yehudi Menuhin Died at 83 (1916-1999) Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was an American-born violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and ...more

34
Victor Schertzinger is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Victor Schertzinger Died at 53 (1888-1941) Victor L. Schertzinger was an American composer, film director, film producer, and screenwriter. His films include Paramount on Parade, Something to Sing About with James Cagney, and the first ...more

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Victor Young is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Victor Young Died at 56 (1900-1956) Victor Young was an American composer, arranger, violinist and conductor. He was born in Chicago.

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Thomas Schippers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Thomas Schippers Died at 47 (1930-1977) Thomas Schippers was an American conductor. He was highly regarded for his work in opera.

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Jerry Goldsmith is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Jerry Goldsmith Died at 75 (1929-2004) Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring. He composed scores for such noteworthy films as The Sand ...more

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Victor Borge is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Victor Borge Died at 91 (1909-2000) Victor Borge (b. January 3, 1909, Copenhagen, Denmark d. December 23, 2000, Greenwich, Connecticut) was a humorist, entertainer and world-class pianist affectionately known as the Clown Prince ...more

39
Alfred Newman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Alfred Newman Died at 69 (1901-1970) Alfred Newman was a film score composer, music arranger and conductor.

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Andre Kostelanetz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Andre Kostelanetz Died at 79 (1901-1980) André Kostelanetz was a popular orchestral music conductor and arranger, one of the pioneers of easy listening music.

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Jester Hairston is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Jester Hairston Died at 99 (1901-2000) Jester Joseph Hairston was an American composer, songwriter, arranger, choral conductor, and actor. He was regarded as a leading expert on African-American spirituals and choral music. His ...more

42
Erich Wolfgang Korngold is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Died at 60 (1897-1957) Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an Austro-Hungarian composer who adopted US nationality. While his late Romantic compositional style was considered well out of vogue at the time he died, his music ...more

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Donny Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Donny Hathaway Died at 34 (1945-1979) Donny Edward Hathaway was an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, ...more

44
Efrem Zimbalist is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Efrem Zimbalist Died at 96 (1889-1985) Efrem Zimbalist, Sr. was an internationally known concert violinist, composer, teacher, conductor and director of the Curtis Institute of Music.

45
Myung-Whun Chung is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Myung-Whun Chung age 65 Myung-whun Chung is a South Korean pianist and conductor. A student of Olivier Messiaen, he is particularly known for his interpretations of the French composer's works.

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Erich Kunzel is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Erich Kunzel Died at 74 (1935-2009) Erich Kunzel, Jr. was an American orchestra conductor. Called the "Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune, he performed with a number of leading pops and symphony orchestras, ...more

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Don Davis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Don Davis age 61 Donald Romain Davis is an American film score composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Best known for his work on The Matrix, he has worked on a variety of films, from horror to comedy.

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Paul Weston is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Paul Weston Died at 84 (1912-1996) Paul Weston was an American pianist, arranger, composer, and conductor, who worked in music and television from the 1930s to the 1970s. His compositions include popular music songs such as ...more

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Bobby McFerrin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Bobby McFerrin age 68 Robert Keith "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a ten-time Grammy Award ...more

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Keith Lockhart is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Keith Lockhart age 58 Keith Lockhart is a music composer. He is the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.